Blood, Bones & Butter

Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef/owner of a restaurant called Prune in New York City. Blood, Bones & Butter is the story about her lifetime involvement with food and becoming a chef. Having a French mother who loved to cook certainly set her off in the right direction to pursue a career in the food industry, and probably tweeked her desire to buy a run-down, decrepid, filthy restaurant, and eventually turn it into one of New York’s finest. Her early days, as a dishwasher, busser (there’s a word I’d never heard before), and server are a bit of a shocker – she certainly got into her share of mischief on the long road to recognition. Even her marriage makes you wonder about her sanity… but I won’t give that part away. I hate it when a review gives away too much of the story. Anyway, there are certain passages, even entire pages, where her descriptions of what it means to be a chef, or why she loves a certain restaurant are enough to make anyone want to head out and follow her path. She is an extremely good writer – she has an MFA in fiction writing and her work has appeared in Bon Appetit and Food & Wine to name a few places. The book is full of humour, she’s very funny and frank (a little to descriptive in one spot for my taste), but it’s totally engrossing. Even if you’re not a foodie like me you’ll find it thoroughly enjoyable.

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